December 2, 2011 by staff
Hybrid Dogs, A dog hybrid is a crossbreed of two or more different recognized breeds of dog. The Encyclop?dia Britannica traces the term “designer dog” to the late 20th century, when breeders began to cross purebred poodles with other purebred breeds in order to obtain a dog with the poodles’ hypoallergenic coat, along with various desirable characteristics from other breeds.
One connotation of the term “designer dog” is that the breeding is by design, between a deliberately chosen sire and dam, as opposed to an accidental breeding. A few breeders have taken this a step further, breeding a specific crossbreed to others of the same cross, setting a standard, and documenting the ancestry of puppies so bred over generations, in order to create a new breed of dog.
The term “designer dog” has, however, taken on a new meaning, equating fads for crossbreed dogs with other “designer” accessories like purses and shoes. More recently, the term “designer dog” has started to ecompass some smaller (“handbag size”) purebred dogs, such as the chihuahua and Pomeranian. Increased public demand for “designer dogs” has resulted in the proliferation of puppy mills cashing in on the fad. Puppy mills are set up to produce puppies as fast as the mother dogs can give birth. The offspring, who may already be in poor health, are shipped long distances to pet shops or are sold through newspapers and the internet. Transportation takes a toll on the pups, and many sicken and die on route.
The primary identifying mark of a crossbred “designer dog’ is that the resulting puppies are called by a portmanteau word made up of syllables (or sounds) from the breed names of the two purebred parents, such as schnoodle (Schnauzer and poodle cross). Other purebred breeds are being crossed to provide designer dogs described with an endless range of created labels, such as the Puggle (Pug and Beagle cross). There are even complex crosses (with multiple breeds in recent ancestry) are being labeled in this manner, such as German Chusky (German Shepherd Dog, Husky, Chow Chow).
Like children in a family, a percentage of designer dogs with the same breed ancestry will look similar to each other, even though crossbreeding does not result in as uniform a phenotype as the breeding of purebreds.
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